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Disordered Living

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Welcome to Disordered Life, a support community for those living with eating disorders.

We are not pro-eating disorder. We are not anti-eating disorder.

Anyone who has or has had an eating disorder is welcome here. We simply ask that you be respectful of others choices and their way of life.

This community was started to give everyone an outlet for their emotions and thoughts where they do not have to fear being mocked. Whether you are regretting a binge or struggling with recovery, you will find support here.

1. ALL posts are friends only. No exceptions.

2. No requesting tips or strategies for weight loss. If you truly have an eating disorder you don't need tips.

3. Do not refer to your disorder as "ana" or "mia".

4. All pictures go behind a cut. All of them please. That includes the cute one of your face. It stretches out the layout and makes it an unhappy-ed-having-layout.



5. If you are posting anything that might be triggering please put "TRIGGERING" at the beginning of the subject of your post.

6. Do not flame. Period. There is no exception to this rule. If you feel that someone does not belong here notify apollotrigger.

7. No posting reverse-thinspiration.

8. All thinspiration photos go in the thinspiration thread. This is to keep the community from getting insanely clogged by thinspiration posts every five seconds. The link is at the top of the page in the navigation. Not everyone wants to see these pictures so I ask that you please refrain from posting them in daily posts.

If you break any of these rules a moderator will contact you for counseling. We want everyone to be a part of the community but we won't allow it to dissolve into chaos. If the rule breaking is severe enough you will be removed and banned from the community.



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We respectfully request that you not attempt to join this community if you are a dieter. There will be no tips posted here. This community is solely for the purpose of giving those who live with eating disorders a place to talk and support each other. We are not trying to be elitists, but this is not a diet. You wouldn't join a cancer support community if you did not have cancer. Eating disorders are life threatening and just as serious a disease as any other.

We ask that members be at least 17 years of age. We want a level of maturity here that is often missing in no age limit communities. If you are under 17 and would like to join, please contact apollotrigger in her private journal. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Please fill out the application completely and post it here. All entries are protected, so only the moderators will be able to view it. We are not judging you in any way. You will not be rejected based on your weight or your looks. This is simply so we can moderate who joins and keep out community trolls and those without eating disorders.

After you have posted your application, click on the join link at the top of the post. Please don't forget to do this, as otherwise I have to send out an invite, which LJ is making a living hell for me. You will get an invite (unless your application is rejected) but it may be slow in coming.

Do not modify the text in the application. Simply copy and paste the code into your comment. Pictures are not required, but feel free to share them.

Name: (You can use your livejournal name if you do not feel comfortable using your real name.)
Age: (Required)
Birthdate: (Optional, so we can wish you a happy birthday)
Eating Disorder: (See here for how to diagnosis yourself.)
Self or Doctor Diagnosed:
Status: (If you're in recovery, put that here. Otherwise leave blank or put n/a)
Current Weight: (optional)
High Weight:
Low Weight:
About you and your eating disorder: (Exactly what it says, tell us about yourself and how your eating disorder has effected your life. This part is not optional.)
Pictures: (Not required, though of course we've love to see your beautiful (or handsome as the case may be) face)

Copy and paste the application from this box, it has all the codes you need.



If you are accepted your application will be reposted to the community by a moderator. You may begin posting and commenting then. The moderators will contact you if you are rejected and explain why you were not accepted.



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Eating disorders are characterized by severe disturbances in eating behavior. The practice of an eating disorder can be viewed as a survival mechanism. Just as an alcoholic uses alcohol to cope, a person with an eating disorder can use eating, purging or restricting to deal with their problems. Some of the underlying issues that are associated with an eating disorder include low self-esteem, depression, feelings of loss of control, feelings of worthlessness, identity concerns, family communication problems and an inability to cope with emotions. The practice of an eating disorder may be an expression of something that the eating disordered individual has found no other way of expressing. Eating disorders are usually divided into three categories: Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Compulsive Overeating.



Anorexia Nervosa


Anorexia Nervosa is a disorder where the main characteristic is the restriction of food and the refusal to maintain a minimal normal body weight. Most anorexics lose weight by restricting their food intake. Anorexics may start by limiting or excluding foods that they perceive as having high fat or caloric content.

Once the disorder of anorexia nervosa takes hold, the individual usually ends up with an extremely restrictive diet that is sometimes limited to only a small number of foods. Additional methods of weight loss for anorexics can include vomiting, laxative abuse, diuretic abuse, insulin abuse, chew-spitting, and excessive exercise.

For individuals suffering from anorexia nervosa, any actual gain or even perceived gain of weight is met with intense fear of becoming fat. With anorexia nervosa, weight loss usually does not lesson the fear, and in fact, the fear often increases following the weight loss. Not only is there a true feeling of fear, but also once in the grasp of the disorder, anorexics experience body image distortions. Most individuals suffering from anorexia have an overall feeling of being overweight.

Some anorexics have an understanding that they are thin, but are concerned that parts of their bodies are fat. Those areas of the body usually representing maturity or sexuality including the buttocks, hips, thighs, and breasts are visualized by the anorexic as being fat. An individual with anorexia nervosa will often obsessively check their body size and weight through frequent weighing, measuring, pinching, and viewing themselves in a mirror.

With anorexia self-esteem and self worth is tied directly to the anorexic's body shape and weight. For an anorexic, weight loss is viewed as a success, a sign of extraordinary self-discipline, and control over life. Conversely, any real or perceived weight gain is seen as a personal failure and loss of control for the anorexic.

For some anorexics, weight loss is so severe there is a loss of menstruation. Medical complications for individuals with anorexia nervosa can be severe and even life threatening. Some of the more common potential medical complications include emaciation, bradycardia, hypotension, hypothermia, impaired renal functioning and gastrointestinal problems.

If anorexia nervosa is left untreated, it can be fatal.

Diagnostic Criteria

A. Refusal to maintain body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for age and height (e.g., weight loss leading to maintenance of body weight less than 85% of that expected or a BMI of less than 17.5); or failure to make expected weight gain during periods of growth, leading to body weight less than 85% of that expected).

B. Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though underweight.

C. Disturbance in the way in which one's body weight or shape is experienced, undue influence of body weight or shape on self-evaluation, or denial of the seriousness of the current low body weight.

D. In postmenarcheal females, amenorrhea, i.e., the absence of at least three consecutive menstrual cycles. (A woman is considered to have amenorrheaif her periods occur only following hormone, e.g., estrogen, administration.)



Bulimia Nervosa


Bulimia nervosa is a disorder where the main characteristics are binge eating and compensatory behaviors in order to prevent weight gain. Bulimics are caught in the devastating and addictive binge-purge cycle.

For individuals suffering from bulimia nervosa, the binge can be seen as a reward within itself and a way to cope with daily stresses and feelings. Bulimic binges usually consist of a larger than normal quantity of food, that typically are high in caloric intake. For individuals with bulimia nervosa, the binge eating usually occurs in secrecy and rarely in the presence of others.

The types of food vary but are often sweet and/or high in fat content. Some binges are planned in advance by the bulimic, but generally they are impulsive. Triggers for binges in bulimia nervosa include dysphoric mood, interpersonal stressors, boredom, prolonged dieting, and body image dissatisfaction.

The binge eating in bulimia nervosa may temporarily numb the negative feelings, but this state is quickly followed by feelings of failure. The bulimic is often ashamed of their binges and views the bulimic behavior as a loss of control and a reason for low self-esteem. This is why it is often hard for bulimics to come forward and seek help.

Individuals suffering from bulimia nervosa follow their binge-eating behavior with compensatory behaviors in an attempt to counteract the binge episodes. The most common form of compensatory behavior for individuals suffering from bulimia nervosa is vomiting. The bulimic usually induces vomiting directly following the binge.

For the bulimic, the act of purging may temporarily reduce the feeling of fullness and reduce their fear of weight gain from the binge. Some individuals with bulimia nervosa even look forward to the purging behavior as they enjoy the feeling of release the purging behavior temporarily affords.

Other compensatory behaviors that individuals with bulimia nervosa use in an attempt to prevent weight gain include use of laxatives, enemas, diuretics, diet pills, ipecac, strict diets, fasts, insulin abuse, chew-spitting, and vigorous exercise.

Bulimics, like anorexics, are also obsessively involved with their body shape and weight. An individual with bulimia nervosa will often obsessively check their body size and weight through frequent weighing, measuring, pinching, and viewing themselves in a mirror. For the bulimic, the individual's self worth is directly tied to their body shape and weight.

Some of the common potential medical complications of practicing bulimia nervosa include cardiac arrhythmias, esophageal tears, electrolyte disturbances, gastrointestinal problems, and dental problems.

The medical complications of bulimia nervosa can be severe and like Anorexia, if left untreated can become life threatening.

Diagnostic Criteria

A. Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterizedby both of the following:
(1) eating, in a discrete period of time (e.g., within any 2-hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than most people would eatduring a similar period of time and under similar circumstances.
(2) a sense of lack of control over eating during the episode (i.e.,a feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one iseating)

B. Recurrent inappropriate compensatory behavior in order to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, diuretics, enemas, or other medications, fasting, or excessive exercise.

C. The binge eating and inappropriate compensatory behaviors both occur, on average, at least twice a week for 3 months.

D. Self-evaluation is unduly influenced by body shape and weight.

E. The disturbance does not occur exclusively during episodes of anorexia nervosa.



Compulsive Overeating


Compulsive Overeaters are often caught in the vicious cycle of binge eating and depression. With compulsive overeating food is used as a coping mechanism to deal with uncomfortable feelings. Many compulsive overeaters speak of using the compulsive overeating episodes as a way to numb all that is going on around them. The amount of food eaten and duration can vary greatly for a Compulsive Overeater.

For many individuals suffering from compulsive overeating, binges may not be able to be broken into specific episodes but rather days where the individual eats more than normal throughout the day. Triggers for compulsive overeating include depression, anxiety, interpersonal stressors, boredom, prolonged dieting, and body image dissatisfaction.

Compulsive overeating may temporarily relieve the stress of these unwanted feelings, but for the compulsive overeater the overeating episodes are unfortunately followed by feelings of guilt, shame, disgust, and further depression. For the compulsive overeater, episodes of compulsive overeating usually occur in secret and any evidence is often hidden from others.

It is not uncommon for compulsive overeaters to eat normally or even restrictively in front of others and then make up for eating less by compulsively overeating in private at a later time. Compulsive overeating late at night, when others are asleep or frequenting fast food restaurants and convenience stores alone, can also be common. Many compulsive overeaters even have a secret stash of junk food hidden for their personal use.

Similar to anorexics and bulimics, compulsive overeaters are constantly struggling and unhappy with their weight. With compulsive overeating, the number read on the scale often determines how the compulsive overeater feels about themself. Constant dieting and restricting food becomes a way of life for the compulsive overeater.

Each new diet is tried in hope that it will be the one that works to combat the compulsive overeating. At first, there may even be some weight loss success for the compulsive overeater with the diet, but unfortunately in most cases each diet ends in failure and all the lost weight is regained. Thus continues the devastating cycle for the compulsive overeater.

Medical complications from the compulsive overeating behavior can be severe and even life threatening for compulsive overeaters. Diabetes, hypertension and cardiac problems are just a few of the dangerous complications of compulsive overeating.

Like anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, compulsive overeating is a disease and cannot be cured with willpower alone.

Diagnostic Criteria

A. Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterized by both of the following:
(1) eating, in a discrete period of time (e.g., within any 2-hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than most people would eat in a similar period of time under similar circumstances.
(2) a sense of lack of control over eating during the episode (i.e., feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating)

B. The binge-eating episodes are associated with three (or more) of the following:
(1) eating much more rapidly than normal
(2) eating until feeling uncomfortably full
(3) eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry
(4) eating alone because of being embarrassed by how much one is eating
(5) feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty after overeating

C. Marked distress regarding binge eating is present.

D. The binge eating occurs, on average, at least 2 days a week for 6 months.

E. The binge eating is not associated with the regular use of inappropriate compensatory behaviors (e.g., purging, fasting, excessive exercise) anddoes not occur exclusively during the course of Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa.



Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified


There are variants of disordered eating that do not meet the diagnostic criteria for anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. These are still eating disorders requiring necessary treatment. A substantial number of individuals with eating disorders fit into this category. Individuals with eating disordered behaviors that resemble anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa but whose eating behaviors do not meet one or more essential diagnostic criteria may be diagnosed with EDNOS. Examples include: individuals who meet criteria for anorexia nervosa but continue to menstruate, individuals who regularly purge but do not binge eat, and individuals who meet criteria for bulimia nervosa, but binge eat less than twice weekly, etc. Being diagnosed as having an "Eating Disorder not Otherwise Specified" does not mean that you are in any less danger or that you suffer any less.

Having an "Eating Disorder not Otherwise Specified" can mean a variety of things. The sufferer may have symptoms of anorexia but still have their menstrual cycle. It can mean the victim can still be an "average/normal weight" but still be suffering anorexia. It can mean the victim equally participates in some anorexic as well as bulimic behaviors (referred to as Bulimiarexic by some).

The most important thing to remember is that eating disorders, anorexia, bulimia, compulsive overeating, or any combination of them, are all very serious psychological illnesses. They all have their physical dangers and complications. They all present themselves through a variety of disordered eating patterns. They stem from issues such as low self-esteem, a need to ignore emotional states such as depression, anger, pain, anger, and most of all. They have developed as a means to cope with one's current state.

The diagnosis of an eating disorder can be difficult. The boundaries between normal and disordered eating are difficult to delineate at times. Many individuals with clearly disordered eating do not meet the formal diagnostic criteria for one of the specific disorders and are classified as having Eating Disorder NOS. The failure to meet formal criteria does not necessarily mean that the individual does not have a serious and significant disorder. Formal evaluations for diagnosis and treatment should only be made by qualified mental health practitioners.

Diagnostic Criteria

The following definition of an Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified is meant to assist mental health professionals in making a clinical diagnosis. This clinical category of disordered eating is meant for those who suffer but do not meet all the diagnostic criteria for another specific disorder.

A. All of the criteria for Anorexia Nervosa are met except the individual has regular menses.

B. All of the criteria for Anorexia Nervosa are met except that, despite substantial weight loss, the individual's current weight is in the normal range.

C. All of the criteria for Bulimia Nervosa are met except binges occur at a frequency of less than twice a week or for duration of less than 3 months.

D. An individual of normal body weight who regularly engages in inappropriate compensatory behavior after eating small amounts of food (e.g., self-induced vomiting after the consumption of two cookies).

E. An individual, who repeatedly chews and spits out, but does not swallow, large amounts of food.

F. Recurrent episodes of binge eating in the absence of the regular use of inappropriate compensatory behaviors characteristic of bulimia nervosa.



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If you have decided to recover do not be afraid to ask for help. An eating disorder is difficult to overcome and the support of your family and friends will help you through this time. This community and it's members will always be here to give you any help that they can, but that isn't a substitute for a trained professional. No one likes pshycitrists but sometimes you do need their help.

The following are links to a few websites that can help you during your recovery.

http://www.edreferral.com
http://www.edap.org
http://www.something-fishy.org
http://www.eating-disorder.com
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/eatingdisorders.html



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You are not required to promote this community. In all honesty, I would prefer you didn't. Instead invite the mature individuals you meet who you think would fit in well here. Feel free to post one of the following banners in your information or on your page.



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